Posted September 28, 2007 in Film

The coast of Australia is an apt setting for Rod Hardy’s precious drama: It’s Beaches for men. Four cloyingly nicknamed orphans–Misty, Spark, Spit, and Maps (Lee Cormie, Christian Byers, James Fraser, and a quite good Daniel Radcliff)–are sent on holiday to Lady Star Cove, a wee ocean front settlement with sandblasted rocks, imposing dunes, and flourishes of magical realism like a giant sea creature named Henry, and Socrates, the horse who likes to fish. The best friends eat together, play together, pee together, and chirp things like "All for one and one for all!" without a hint of sarcasm. Now, a full day’s drive away from their humble, yet kind orphanage, the lads set about discovering women together with their thrilling introduction to a French woman (Victoria Hill) who makes putting on sunscreen seem like a deadly sin. Only their bond quickly fractures when narrator Misty strategically withholds the woman’s plans to adopt one of the boys, and a bored nymphet who’s all legs and pigtails (Teresa Palmer) decides to make Radcliff a man. Hardy’s competing interests in nostalgia and whimsy cause the story to veer from stiff to silly. A scene where the kids feverishly attempt to outdo each other in complimenting their potential mom’s cooking has the right mix of pity and fangs, but overall the tension is killed with cuteness. (Amy Nicholson)


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